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How to Add Transparency to Gradients with Adobe Illustrator

Learn how to add transparency to gradients with Adobe Illustrator from expert Will "Focus" Dubois in this Howcast video.


This is how to add transparency to gradients in Adobe Illustrator. So when we have a gradient, sometimes we want one color to actually show through our gradient. So let's just, we're going to start from scratch. We're going to grab our rectangle tool from our tools panel. We're going to drag a rectangle out. And then we're going to drag out a second rectangle. Now let's say we want part of the rectangle in the back to show through the rectangle on the top. So we're going to click the rectangle in the back, and let's give this just a solid color, and not a gradient. So let's change that to yellow. And right now, because of how they're stacked, you can't see the yellow that's behind the gradient.

So we have two options. The one is the simple way, that doesn't really give you too much control. But you can click on the transparency menu. Which is next to your gradient menu. And you can change the opacity here. But that changes everything for the gradient. Instead of allowing you to be able to change one particular color that might be in your gradient. Because maybe you only want the black to be able to be transparent. So we're going to click on this. We're going to bring this back up to a hundred percent. Now what we'll do is if we click our gradient, and we go to our gradient panel, the colors are in our gradient down towards the bottom. So we want to click the black swatch, and we want to make sure that some of this yellow comes through. So the first thing we're going to do is in the opacity option, we're going to just reduce that a little bit. And you'll see that as you reduce it, it shows transparency through. And you can start to see some of the yellow come through the actual gradient box.

And that's how you create transparency with gradients in Adobe Illustrator.

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